This week one of the things I am trying to complete is the Week 2 assignment for PBL Camp. Part of my problem has been trying to nail down where I want my students to be at the end of this project.
- What do I want them to know about the oil spill?
- What do I want them to know about their own use of oil?
- What kind of project or action plan do I want them to have to show what they’ve learned?
So, I have set up a page on the PBL Camp Wiki using the PBL planning form developed by the Buck Institute for Education. We’re supposed to be concentrating on page 1 of this form this week but of course I had to look ahead. The Assessment section bothers me because under Summative Assessments section two of the selections are Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test and Essay Test. Why are those there? Isn’t this Project Based Learning? If it is then shouldn’t the Summative Assessment be the project?
I have heard Chris Lehmann speak both online and in person and one thing that he stresses is that you are not truly teaching with Project Based Learning if your final assessment is a test. The student’s own work should be the most important work in Project Based Learning. If you don’t know who Chris is, check out his presentation at NECC 2009 on School 2.0: Progressive Pedagogy and 21st-Century Tools. This is fairly long and if you want a shorter introduction to Chris, try his TeDxNYED talk.
What do you think?
Should a test be used as a final assessment in a PBL unit? Should a test ever be the final assessment?
Why or why not?